More and more consumers demand products that are sostenible: today, being a responsible brand is as important as quality and beauty. For the luxury market this task is especially challenging: it means to unite two very different worlds and rethink the ways of production without leaving the sophistication aside. On the other hand, the sector has the advantage of having resources to investigate new methods and materials, and notoriety to call the attention to social and environmental causes.
We made a selection of 5 luxury fashion brands that have incorporated sustainability into their strategy, creating interesting collections and/or projects.
Considered the pioneer into the sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney was one of the first designers to use eco friendly fabrics made of pet bottles, organic cotton and natural fibers. With that, she helped to popularize this trend in the fashion market. Besides, she doesn’t use fur or leather in her creations, chose small suppliers and employs wind energy in her store in London. An example to be followed.
The first step of Gucci towards sustainability was in 2010, when they began to use bags made of 100% certified paper. A year later, the brand launched the “green glasses” made from castor beans. Soon, they decided to extend this concept to a collection of shoes, creating some models made from bioplastic – a biodegradable material considered an alternative to petrochemical plastics – also used on their mobile cases. Another innovation is the sustainable line of sunglasses, made of liquid wood – also considered a green material of the future.
In 2013, the Greenpeace Italy made a sustainability ranking of 15 Italian and French high-fashion brands. Valentino got the first place, thanks to its policy of zero deforestation for leather and packaging, and to seek to minimize the environmental impact of its textile production. The brand also made an ambitious commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products until 2020.
Another good example comes from the jewelry market. Tiffany & Co. continuously seeks to develop standards of responsible operations. The company has a program to ensure that human rights are respected throughout their supply chain and supports the development of communities in areas where they acquire their raw materials. Tiffany & Co. also assures its customers that all diamonds are ethically procured.
Designer and political activist, Vivienne Westwood knows better than no one how to use her fashion influence to call the attention to urgent issues. Her questioning personality has surpassed the limits of the runways and today is also expressed on issues such as sustainability, climate change and conscious consumption. Recently, has released with Greenpeace the T-Shirt “Save the Arctic”, in an attempt to preserve this region. Another interesting initiative was the collection of handbags “Ethical Africa”, created from recycled leather, banners and scraps of unused materials. All products were handmade by the people of Nairobi.